Replacing Toothbrush Heads, Rooted Dental Care, LIncoln Park Chicago


Have the colors on your brush head started to fade? Do the bristles on your brush look frayed? The care is the same, whether you have a manual or an electric toothbrush. 

Your brush head is different from any other product you have in your bathroom. Unlike lotion or soap, it does not “run low,” giving us that traditional indication of when to replace it. It is essential to maintain a specific schedule to decrease the likelihood of any unfavorable effects.   


Most dentists recommend changing your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months, along with the American Dental Association. Over time, they become less effective in removing plaque and tartar. This deterioration can lead to increased inflammation in our gums, resulting in gingivitis. To overcompensate, we tend to press harder with our brushes. This increased pressure can cause abrasion or even recession at our gum line. 

Another important reason to replace our brushes/brush heads is that bacteria can build up and hide in the bristles. That is why when you come in for your cleaning, we always recommend switching out the current brush or brush head you are using. Dental offices will send you home with a manual toothbrush as a replacement or as a place holder until you can replace your electric toothbrush head. We do not want to reintroduce that harmful bacteria back into your oral cavity once your teeth are clean and healthy! 


It is so important to rinse your toothbrush/head well and have it completely dry before reuse. We recommend not using the same toothbrush that you use for teeth to clean your nightguard, retainers or clear aligners. If your sink is near your toilet, keep your brush at a distance. When traveling, cover your brush (head) to decrease the introduction of foreign bacteria. 



We love electric toothbrushes. They take all the guesswork out of your daily habit and deliver 100 times the amount of brush strokes per minute. Most of these toothbrushes have a 2-minute timer, so you know exactly how long to brush. Some have pressure-indicating lights that inform you if you are brushing too hard. 


This style of brush is an easy go-to option. Although not as effective as an electric toothbrush, a manual one can offer a cost-effective alternative to maintaining your oral hygiene. When picking a manual toothbrush, you want either an extra-soft or a soft-bristled one. Medium and hard-bristled brushes can cause abrasion to your enamel, especially along the gum line. Over time, you might notice recession and/or increased sensitivity. It would help if you also looked for cross-action technology that provides a more effective clean. 


For those that are looking for a compostable option, bamboo toothbrushes are available at our local stores or online as well! Some of these brushes do have charcoal bristles. It would help if you kept in mind that charcoal is abrasive on the enamel, possibly resulting in increased sensitivity. Once again, always be mindful of the roughness of the bristles.

Check out Oral B, Phillips Sonicare and Colgate for the most popular toothbrushes. Or talk to your dentist about what brush is right for you.